While cleaning out my materials closet in preparation for an upcoming move, I stumbled upon several sticker collections that I scored on a buy one, get one free deal a while ago. So, I dusted them off and started using them with my preschoolers. Take a look at how I am targeting comprehension skills with stickers in my private practice: Naperville Therapediatrics.
First, I have two, reusable sticker pads that include five background scenes in each book with the appropriate stickers to go along with the scenes. The "Play House" unit has backgrounds of a dining room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and backyard, while the "Habitats" collections includes adorable backgrounds of a farm, prehistoric land, river, rainforest, and ocean. Recently, I broke out the backyard scene with stickers to work on following one-step directions with concepts such as above/below, next to, and on/in. I really like that I can work on these concepts with the same pictures for a few sessions, especially since some of my little ones need this repeated exposure.
Next, I have two collections with a combined 1200 stickers! One set is geared more towards girls since it contains princesses, tea party images, dress-up, fairies, and horses. The other set is my favorite one right now: hands down! It's called: Sweet Treats and it comes with 15, awesome paper backgrounds. There are bare cupcakes, cakes, ice cream cones, donuts, gingerbread men, and cookies, all just waiting to be decorated with colorful toppings. I have been using this collection for picture and color identification by placing three stickers on my fingers and asking clients to retrieve a target to place onto one of the paper backgrounds. Clients take the completed artwork home and I encourage caregivers to cover the paper with clear contact paper so little ones will be less apt to remove stickers. The longer the paper lasts at home, the more opportunities for carryover practice.
Here are some other ways you can use sticker play to promote communication skills:
- Prompt initial sounds or sound-syllables in words
- Imitate animal sounds and environmental noises
- Model requests for continuance (more) or termination (all done)
- Encourage asking for help when the client has difficulty removing a sticker
- Make comments about the picture scenes
- Label pictures of objects and colors/shapes/sizes
- Pretend to take bites out of food
- Take turns decorating background scenes
- Identify emotions using stickers of people/animals (She looks happy/ The dog is hungry)